Sunday, August 30, 2009

Weight Loss

Thought I'd better record it here. This morning I hit 92 pounds down. I had a gastric bypass 2-11-09, in just less than two weeks I will be 7 months out from the surgery. So far I have had no complications and I have only thrown up twice. I finally got some palatable chewable calcium citrate and am taking it faithfully. That had been the one thing it was hard to get down. Crystals, powder, taste like or feel like crap. Once again, I found what I needed on The opening two weeks of school has been wonderful, I have energy at the end of the day that I did not have before and every few days I discover another physical ability that has either improved or returned! I am doing some major reorganizing in my classroom that I never would have attempted for fear of using up my energy and not having it for teaching! Those little improvements sneak up on me and take me by surprise when I realize I am doing something easily that 7 months ago I couldn't do at all. My colleagues are telling me I am looking healthy, my color is good. I met someone yesterday who is considering the surgery and she said I was glowing, that word has been used more in the last two weeks than it ever was when I was pregnant so many years ago. I like that. Glowing and healthy looking. I think people expect you to look sick after this.

I can already tell how much more physically capable I am when I carry my newest grandson out on the deck and down the stairs/up the stairs with no problem. I can get up and down off the floor maybe 75% better than before. I have also reached what I thought was my possible goal is size and am really only 2 or 2.5 sizes away from my younger ideal. I had no expectation of getting any closer than I am right now. I guess I will just blow through that goal. My good friend D is at goal weight in WW for the first time in her life, she finished out her last 20 lbs after bariatric at WW as she likes the support, she has lost at least 120 or 125 pounds an she is only about 5'4"! Even her shoe size has dropped, that would be a financial blessing to me. Go D! Hard to find this year, 3/4 sleeves, I am flying flags under my arms, which has been true since my first round of optifast 20 years ago. Mynew pants are already sagging. thank goodness I got everything at deep sale prices, I couple of darts would keep my jeans up a little longer.

Movies: I wanted to blog a bit about 2 movies I saw yesterday, but found my twittering has really cut my blogging to almost nothing. I went to see Julie and Julia and I LOVED it, Maryl Streep was wonderful as was everybody else. They did a really good job of making Meryl look tall and I only wish I had always had Julia Child's attitude about height. I always wanted to be 6ft tall because I adored my 6ft tall aunt, and I am, but I haven't always had the confidence about it that Julia had. Hey, maybe I still don't..the story lines intertwined wonderfully from the past to the present--and I left the theater and went to Sam's and bought both Julie and Julia AND My Life in France-- then I bought some protein bars and just knew that Julia was disapproving as they are not worthy of the taste buds. I just needed a little guarantee of the protein in my day. Though (or because) the tickets were at $5, the theater was packed, mostly older people, and since I qualify at the Y now, I am also an older person. I saw an old friend from school who has moved on to another job and asked her if she teared up at all, and she had. I had wanted to shout at the crowd "did anyone else well up in here?" "or is it just me?" She welled up, too. Annoying, watching this movie with people crunching popcorn behind you. This movie is a feast in more ways than one.

I also saw "500 Days of Summer" It was a very sweet movie and I enjoyed it very much.
I appreciated the lack of graphic sex as well as the manner in which the story was told which seemed very original to me. This movie has only just arrived in mytown and there were only about 12 people in the audience. Open mouthed eaters sat behind me. Why didn't I move? Oh and by the way, the theater seats are a lot bigger than the last time I was there. hmmm. I bet airplane seats are bigger, too.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Birthing My Twins

My twins are 32 and one of them is on the brink of birthing her second child. Reading Dooce makes me want to write my little story from the dark ages. Actually my son is 38 and he was also a wonderful natural delivery (foreshadowing) in the days when natural childbirth was just beginning to rear its head. I read books and practiced exercises from the books with him and relied on panting for my breathing. I remember a kindly nun patting me on the hand and saying "You shouldn't breathe like that, you'll hyperventilate". I had a fantastic 8 hr labor and delivery. Jump 5.5 years up in time and I not only read books but took a class. I was in that class still not knowing I was having twins as my OB said I had made a 3 month MISTAKE and I was most certainly NOT having twins even though my abdomen extended to just above my knees when sitting(and I am 6ft tall and very long-legged)AND he was going to wire my jaws shut as there was no earthly reason to gain 10lbs a month for 3 months running. And to think I went to a real OB and let him talk to me that young women these days would punch him in the nose and find a midwife and a doula. Not sure the term doula even existed yet in 1977. Since my first baby was 11 lbs6ozs, I thought the OB might be right and no telling how big the second was going to be, they're usually a bit bigger, right? 20lbs maybe?

Much to my Ob's dismay the pregnancy continued way past his last chosen due date and much closer to mine. By the end I was going to the IGA after Larry got home and walking down one aisle with a cart and calling it a success. Not sure I should have been out there, though. Two weeks before MY selected due date (the right one, March 23) the doc decided my body could take no more so he would induce. I think I sat on 2 folding chairs in a hall and used up 1/4 of my health insurance benefit for having a baby. You will know this was the dark ages because they X-rayed me.....repeat....repeat...repeat... techs were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. I was starting to panic as my little niece had already been diagnosed with a terminal cancer and I was having my baby blasted with cancer rays. I asked how many heads they saw and of course, they could not tell me, but I knew it was more than one.

Doc told me I was carrying twins, they were 38 weeks and OK size not great big. (laughs later)He could tell by the cartilage in the babies how many weeks they were. I must go home and stay pregnant for two more weeks, yes we are talking full term here and whose date? MINE of course. The last two weeks of my pregnancy were filled with the sensation of babies growing, an actual sensation, a growth day would completely exhaust me. We shall know why later. I had no stretch marks from my first baby and a completely flat stomach after, but from 6 months on with these babies I could feel my skin zinging and tearing, another sensation indescribable. Or maybe I did just describe it. I give thanks to my sister here for coming to stay with me, she may have stayed 6 weeks and was important beyond measure in my success as a twin mother. I will thank her again later.

Today is your birthday, for some strange reason, the date I arrived at from counting on my fingers is the date the doc is going to induce me. Early to rise and to the hospital we go. Good old pit. Pitocin... you all know it. Hours, hours, hours, nothing, then the doc does the hook the water thing and off I go. The breathing techniques I learned really worked! There was space between contractions which I did not have the first time, so nice. Nurses and docs still did not understand natural childbirth and were still offering drugs. I was able to lie on my side and found I had real control of my contractions. In those days you had to move from the labor bed to the delivery table, and as huge as my abdomen was, I did not want to make the trip across that grand canyon. My abdomen listed to the right, one baby in the center and one to the side. I would walk in one direction and my abdomen pointed in another direction. OOOH here comes the urge to push, I am not going to tell a soul because I do not want to get on my back or move to a table...I think I am being very sneaky, but my husband knows it instantly and he yelled out to the nurses, "you better get back in here...she's pushing." Damn him. Now I am going to have to move. Extra people stayed for a twin delivery, for a natural twin delivery, and for the ungainly size of the mother (me). One young nurse was a 6 footer like myself and she literally lifted my abdomen to the center as I somehow rolled to my back (beached whale comes to mind)and held it--them on the top as I scooted. They got my left leg in a stirrup with my knee pointed back and my foot to the ceiling and my right leg in a stirrup and my foot mere inches from the floor. The cloths were neatly folded on my abdomen. I assumed I'd have an episiotomy and did not scorn that but Leah slipped right out with the doc barely dressed and my legs hilariously askew. One up, one down. I was really great at the delivery part! It was a healthy looking girl, looked like a nice weight, a good 6 or 7 pounds--yeah right. She got name number one Leah now known as @leahjones. The doctor yelled out, "get her god damned legs where they belong!" cloths were spread, and then he gave me a shot for an episiotomy, what the hell? I probably had the big one first! He was so discombobulated he shot right into his own hand. The nurse, measuring Leah started yelling out 10 pounds 10 pounds this baby is 10 pounds, excitement ensued in the room. Another doc walked in, no proper clothes or shoe coverings and that really pissed me off. Then I needed to push, or my OB said I needed to push. I really had lost my concept of what that meant. He reached in for baby number 2, centered it, and pushed on my abdomen and out came @devivo in 3 or less minutes. 5 years later I had reason to understand why it was so great for her to be out so quickly.

Among the books I read was the Bradley method and I learned the secrets of cold cream. I had nary a tear nor a loss of a drop of blood and no episiotomy, in spite of the injection which was now taking effect, why I ask you why?

Baby 2 was 8lbs12oz edging out the other biggest baby of the day and being my smallest twin. Lastly the placenta was delivered, 2 mashed in to one as they are fraternal twins, a mighty huge looking thing. I forgot to ask what it weighed. My labor and delivery was 4 hours. Exactly half what my first delivery was. At this point I began to feel like a Salvadore Dali painting with my empty abdomen hanging off the edge of the recovery table. One of my first pleasures of the evening was being walked to a bathroom and peeing for the first time, and peeing and peeing and peeing. By the next day I could see the bones in my feet again. I nursed my babies but did not get angry when the nurse gave Jenny a bottle, second time around I knew I could deal with that at home. We all went home in two days and I have always been inordinately proud that all my babies had 10's on their apgars right from he start. Yes they all aced their first standardized tests as they went on to do all other standardized tests they had to deal with!

My sister, Kathy, stayed on for at least another month and totally and 100% supported me in breastfeeding. I started out thinking I'd have to alternate with bottles but ended up completely nursing them for 10 months when they began a rather quick and painful weaning and never looked back. I am not sure I could have been as successful without her encouragement and active support. Thanks again, Kathy.

3 years later, my girls ended up in preschool with two other girls born on the same day, one waiting in another hospital for my OB to deliver my girls and the other in my hospital who saw me in the hall and felt great pity for my gargantuan abdomen. Sorry to the mom who had to wait, but first things first!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I Have Realized Something About Myself

As a blogger, I am not a writer, I am not looking for a following, the few who read it are dear to me and I think I am more of a rambling stream of consciousness type of person. I am not going to publish or sharpen a snarky wit here, though I do love to read those blogs! Maybe when I retire I'll change my mind, but I am thinking it just isn't me. I am not a political wizard so I don't go there much, though I feel it. I am not going to monetize or seek a following. I write things down to remember them or share them with a few readers and that's OK with me! I always thought I could write a children's book, but doesn't everybody think that? I haven't done it. I have read and loved so many. I would want the one I wrote to last in the annals of necessary children's books as The Very Hungry Caterpillar has lasted.

Yesterday was My Birthday

My brother was nice enough to leave links to the books I wrote about yesterday and to note I had not mentioned my own birthday. I twittered it, I facebooked it, but I forgot to blog it. It was a beautiful sunshiny day most of the day as I hit 62. I really wanted to call Mom, so mentally, I did, and I try to think of what she was doing at my same age. I realized how young she was when she lost her own mother, my dear Mammie. Mammie was 72 so I think Mom was 41. I never knew from my aunt and my Mom what a grievous hole it leaves in your psyche when your mother passes from this life. They never mentioned it. They were from a more stoic generation, the great generation. Here I am rambling. Did you ever notice how glamorous the young women of the 40's were? They looked like movie stars in their hand tinted portraits. Here I am, 62, in relatively good health, especially now that the pounds are falling away and Mom had already had a heart attack. Her life was so hard and she smoked for many many years. She reared 6 children and worked many many physically demanding jobs in her time. Had she already broken both ankles? Had she already had bladder cancer? When did the diabetes rear its head? There was the quadruple bypass. I often think of her asleep on a bench in the sun on one of her last trips to KY because her heart was only beating 35 beats a minute and she was traveling against oldest daughter's orders I might add. Orders from me were a challenge to her! She says I shouldn't do it, so here I go! That was Mom. A trooper woke her up and sent her on her way, she completed that defiant trip, returned with injuries and had to spend time in the hospital and the nursing home for one week to get back on her feet. Oops Rick, this wasn't the happy birthday mention you wanted probably, but my mind always goes to mom on my birthday, because she gave it to me. I now await the birth of my 5th grandchild and look forward to giving him the attention I have given his brother.
My daughters had to teach me what a hilariously fun grandma she was to them and I hope to my son also, though he doesn't mention it. She adored him completely.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Summertime and the Living.....

I have read like a fiend this summer and i'd like to give kudos to Joshelin Jackson (sp) for ""The Girl Who Stopped Swimming" loved it. Too bad I can't remember how to successfully make a link to that! She has a great blog, too, Faster Than Kudzu. I read that long before I got one of her books. Now I want more.
I am now two weeks away from being back at my teaching schedule, the summer has flown by. I have hogged it all to myself with reading, twittering, swimming. Soon I shall be able to knit as I need to make a new surprise sweater for my newest soon-to-be grandson. I haven't been knitting because all last year I had the worst back spasm and my knitting posture does not help that! There must be a way, maybe I should wear a back brace while I knit!

I have built up enough strength and endurance with my swimming schedule this summer to add workouts in the school program back into my exercise life. Hooray!

I am reading a book now, "Oxygen" by Carol Cassella that literally and figuratively takes your breath away in the first chapter and really lets you know how in the hands of another human you are during surgery. oooooh.

I already mentioned this in my previous post but this one's for me. I had my 4.5 year old grandson over for the first time to try to spend Monday through Friday. He crashed into bed Sunday night asleep as his head hit the pillow so that doesn't count! He got homesick late Tuesday night, 10p.m., too late for me to make the 2 hour and 15 minute drive home. We did our activities the next day then went home. He needed to "see his mommy." I consider it a rousing success as he slept here three nights, I was betting on two. We had some swim lessons and in spite of his excitement about having them, and maybe it was the unseasonably cool weather, he did not like them as I had hoped. I do think he has a few things to practice in his home pool though that will advance his increasing skills in the water. He actually dove for pennies, pennies!
Now that we have had this successful sleepover, we can have a few more maybe I can pick him up on a Friday and Mom can pick him back up on a Sunday. We went to one of our wonderful city parks several times, we went to our cities children's museum which is all activities, though small. The smallness is the real appeal to the children. We are getting a new bigger one and I certainly hope it is as interactive as our first one. H absolutely loved it.

Gastric Bypass 5.5 Months and Other Random Things

Today I did not take a cart in to Krogers to go to the pharmacy. I did not use a cart to walk around and I did not bring a cart out. I will now enter a store with bad carts or no carts.
I picked up my new 5 \mg BP prescription, giving way from the 50 mg's I was taking at the beginning+ no longer taking 3 other BP meds.
purchased a few new things as many as 4 sizes smaller than February sizes, getting ready to break through to "normal" sizes. You know, the kind you can buy in any store, not just a specialty store.
I was able to entertain my grandson (4.5 yrs old) ably for three whole days without collapsing or taking a nap! It was his very first sleepover without a parent present. Good things ahead with that skill. Well, we did relax once in a while after vigorous activity, which means lying down and watching 2 sponge Bobs before another activity.
Nutrition info--my daughter's midwife gave her a list of iron rich foods and cream of wheat is at the top. Who knew? I checked it out and compared it to Malt-O-Meal and MOM tops COW--that is an easy addition for me as I came out of this low in iron from blood loss. I could only eat two chicken livers, but I can eat a serving of M-O-M. In case you landed here because of the title of this post, I use Stevia to sweeten the cereal. I saw some interesting information on agave syrup and am wondering if it is good for bariatric patients. Oh, I almost forgot, since Feb 11 I am down 86 pounds. Some of you won't think that is much, but I am 6ft tall and that is a lot for me, many people lose a lot more in numbers, but I am so pleased with how this is going. I am keeping up my protein and hanging on to my hair. I do have a funny bump in my fingernails though that I attribute to the changes since surgery.